Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I have a 3 year old Standardbred and he is my first Standardbred, I've owned other young horses before.
I have been extremely impressed by his calm and quiet nature. He takes to new things well and is generally pretty good to train. I have yet to put him under saddle but have been doing a lot of round yard and ground work.
I know he was at least trained for racing, but he does not pace at all. He will canter fine in the paddock and on the lunge, and even when keeping up with other horses or whatever he'll leap into a canter.
I think they are good beginner horses because of their temperaments and price, but like all horses you need one with some training. You wouldn't get a Standardbred with only a few months under saddle, nor would you get a QH, TB or Arab.
Most people's standard of "first horse" seems rather high. To me a first horse must be quiet, responsive and reliable. Most first horse owners couldn't afford a well trained horse, but chances are they don't need one either. Just an experienced quiet horse.
Perhaps in parts of America its different, but here if you would want a well trained, experienced, quiet and sound horse you'd be paying thousands of dollars.
I recommend anyone take a year of riding lessons prior to owning a horse. Less than a year you probably won't be skilled enough, and even if you are its not enough time to truly know if you want to continue horse riding.
Take lessons then consider what you want. Look at what disciplines you want to learn or compete in, then you can hopefully find a good horse for what you want to do, whether it be a Standardbred, QH, TB, Warmblood, Morgan etc.